iMac G4 20 inch with 2GB RAM

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kurtbdudley, May 18, 2013.

  1. kurtbdudley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys, I just acquired a 20 inch imac g4 and currently it has less than a gig of ram running it. I did a fresh install of osx 10.4 and it is currently running pretty decently. However, I had a couple questions for those of you with g4 experience.

    I know that Apple says the imac g4 supports 1gb of ram but unofficially it will support 2 gigs. So my first question is should I bother changing out the ram on top of the logic board? Or should I stick with the easy to change ram on the bottom of the machine. Right now the machine is running on 762mb I think? Something close to that. I am quite sure that I could change the ram on the logic board, I am fairly experienced with hardware. Is it worth the time and money to upgrade to 2 gigs?

    My second question is about the OS. Should I upgrade to Leopard? My very first mac was running 10.5 and I loved it, so part of me wants to upgrade to Leopard purely out of nostalgia. If I do upgrade to Leopard though, I will almost certainly need the extra 2 gigs of ram. Tiger is definitely a good OS, but if I upgrade to Leopard I can run cs4 and a better version of firefox.

    I need some opinions before I start taking the machine apart and reinstalling the OS. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    Leopard will run nicely on those machine with only 1.25GB of ram installed in them. Just make sure when buying memory, you get low density ram. And if you open it, replace the thermal grease on the two contact points.
     
  3. kurtbdudley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    #3
    I was just going to buy the ram OWC recommends to replace it with. Is there something else I should use? Also, when you say thermal paste, I only need to replace that if I upgrade the RAM on top of the logic board correct? And one more question, should I replace the PRAM battery?
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #4
    OCW ram will work fine. You only need to replace the thermal paste if you crack open the dome. If removing the bottom plate, you don't need to replace it. The PRAM battery is nearing the end of its designed lifespan of about seven years. It may still last another five. If it does die, it'll just not know the time when turned on. No need in replacing it unless the lack of time really bothers you. Also, the time will only reset if you unplug it from the mains or switch off its surge protector. If the iMac is off and still connected to the mains, it'll use mains power to keep the clock running instead of the PRAM battery.
     
  5. kurtbdudley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    #5
    Ahh, now that you say that it sounds like the PRAM battery may already be dead. I just acquired the machine this morning, I've been working on it all day. So you don't think I should crack it open and replace the SODIMM ram card? I suppose as long as leopard would run effectively it would be fine. I just want to remove as much lag as possible when doing day to day tasks.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    It'll always have lag. No matter what you do to it. See how well it runs in 1.25GB of ram. You'll likely not notice a difference if you go to 2GB with it.
     

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